Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's No Off-Position on the Genius Switch (D. Letterman)

Lilac Hill Farm? Nah, we decided. We don't have any lilacs and we're not on a hill. How about Rose Valley? No valleys, no roses. From there, we went through a series of uninspired ideas. Then our respective genius switches (which evidently do have an off position) flashed to red at the same moment. Dancing Bean Ranch! A graphic artist had already done camera-ready artwork from the drawings on Chris' letter of years before. The logo was obvious.

So there it is, the saga of the Dancing Bean Ranch. My most recent guests asked how we happened upon our name. "It relates to a college nickname," I told her. "It's all on my blog."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Seriously. The Dancing Bean Ranch.

I finished graduate school and moved to Seattle so many years ago that we still wrote letters to each other. I came home one rainy Seattle night to find a delightful surprise in my mailbox: a letter from Chris Knop (Kallenberger), now beginning her career at Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa. Looking forward to one of her always witty letters, instead I read two pages of complaints. Mostly, she hated winter. Belying her gloomy tone, however, she'd drawn beans, complete with jazz arms and legs, boogying across the page.

That letter was a keeper. I always had the feeling that someday I was going to do something with those dancing beans.

(That's a current photo of Chris, by the way, with her sock monkey scarecrow.)